Happy New Year! Wednesday, I shared my simple, three question strategic planning approach. Yesterday, we looked at how to get more done…and get more clients. Today, I’m going to show you how to get more freedom from your business…
PART 3 – The almost magical way to increase your free time
Free time…time away from your business, not thinking about your business is essential to increasing your capacity as the leader of the business.
For several years now, I’ve implemented a concept from Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach, called “Free Days.”
According to Sullivan, a “free day” is a 24 hour period, from midnight to midnight, where you don’t work. You don’t read about work. You don’t think about work. You don’t talk about work. You don’t do ANYTHING related to work.
You might be scared already, just reading that.
I was when I first tried it. In fact, I failed about 60% of the time.
But this concept, if you really apply it, will give you a ton of free time…AND, it’ll give your brain the rest and recuperation time you need to be more creative and more productive.
Here’s how you do it in a nutshell…
– Decide how many free days you’ll take next year. If you simply stake every weekend, plus the six standard holidays in the U.S. and a 1-week vacation, you get 115 days off. Pick a number that makes you happy and that’s reasonable to achieve.
– Mark all the free days on your calendar. If you’re using an electronic calendar, add an appointment called “Free Day” from 7am to 7pm and mark it “Busy,” so you won’t be tempted to put anything on that day.
– Each week, count how many free days you actually took that week. If you miss one (and you will), add it back later in the year, to maintain your total number of free days.
– Do this before you add anything else in for the year. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP.
You can get everything done and still take time off. The constraint you create by taking your free days off the table will make you more productive.
The freshness and creativity you get from your free days will take your clarity and level of thinking about getting clients to a new, higher level. Nothing beats the perspective that comes from time away from the business.
photo, originally in color, courtesy of: Visit St. Pete/Clearwater